Tessa L. from Maryland was the winner of the Propeller experience to "Win a Trip to See Bon Iver Live in Sydney" that took place in February 2023. Below are some of Tessa's highlights from the experience.
We arrived Thursday Feb 16th and were thrilled to discover that the Propeller team put us in a very central perfectly located hotel, close to the train station, concert venue, but more importantly, right in the heart of Chinatown and surrounded by some of the best Asian restaurants in Sydney. We walked around Darling Harbor and marveled at the gorgeous 80-90 degree F weather which was a much needed change of pace from the winter weather we were accustomed to.
On Friday the 17th, my sister and I had the perfect beach day. We started at Bronte Baths and then walked the famous Coastal Path up to Bondi Beach - home to the most photographed pool in Australia. We really enjoyed watching the surfers and wishing we were as cool as them. We watched sunset on the beach and then headed back to Chinatown for dinner.
Saturday the 18th was the day of the concert! We explored some cute weekend markets in Chinatown and then did a 90 minute cruise around Sydney, admiring the famous Harbor Bridge and of course the Sydney Opera House. We also completely coincidentally timed our harbor cruise with the start of the Sydney Sailing Grand Prix and got to watch the final warm ups for that race and waved to Team USA's boat.
Then the concert! We picked up the tickets at will call and headed down to row A. I have never been this close to the stage before and it was really interesting to see all the stage hands setting up the instruments while the anticipation for the concert built up. I immediately cried when the band took the stage! It really felt surreal to be so close to my favorite band. This was the 6th time I've seen them life, and definitely the best show I've been to so far. I told my sister that I would be happy to hear any of their songs, but if I was being honest, I was really hoping they would play re: Stacks and 715 Creeks (my two favorite songs) and lucky me, they did! Also cried to both of those songs. For the encore, my sister and I joined two Australian girls in getting the crowd up on their feet to dance and clap. A dream come true.
Sunday the 19th we got brunch ($1 oysters!) and then headed to the Taronga Zoo. The definite highlight was seeing the koalas - they are even cuter in person and we loved watching them nap. (I have like a million pictures of just koalas haha). Other highlights were the meerkats, lemurs, quokkas, capybaras, tigers, and KANGAROOS. We were lucky enough to see them hop at one point! On our way back from the zoo, we stopped at the Sydney Opera House and watched the sunset from there.
Monday the 20th we returned to Bronte Beach to get our last moments of sunshine. In the evening, we explored the Surry Hills area, which was totally decorated for hosting World Pride and had so many cool bars and restaurants.
Tuesday morning we checked out of the hotel, walked around Surry Hills a bit more and talked about how this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we feel beyond lucky to have experienced together as sisters, and then headed to the airport to head back home!
- Tessa L.